River Research Institute (RRI)

Geotechnical Research


Geo-technical Research Directorate

Geo-technical Research Directorate comprises of the following disciplines:

  • Soil Mechanics and Groundwater  
  • Material Testing and Quality Control
  • Sediment, Chemical and Water pollution


Soil Mechanics and Ground Water

Soil Mechanics & Groundwater of Geo-technical Research Directorate have been conducting tests and research for determination of different physical parameters of soils which are required for planning and designing the infrastructures of flood control, irrigation, drainage, water development and other water development projects. Ground Water Circle of BWDB and other organizations collect soil samples from different project sites in connection with construction of hydraulic structures like bridges, dams, barrages, regulators, weirs, flood control and river training works and other relevant works. RRI has developed sufficient laboratory facilities for testing of soil samples received from those Clients. The reports of the tested soil samples are prepared based on field investigation data and laboratory analysis data. Then the report is sent to the respective Clients. 


Testing of Soil Samples

Soil samples are visually inspected in the laboratory and representative samples are selected for necessary testing. Generally tests are conducted for determining of natural moisture content, grain size distribution, Atterberg limits, density (), void ratio (e), compression index (Cc), unconfined compressive strength (qu), shear strength (c & ø), direct shear, tri-axial shear with or without pore pressure, California Bearing Ratio (CBR) value and permeability value etc. As per planned schedule, different tests are performed simultaneously in order to work out all necessary parameters quickly within the shortest possible time.


Material Testing and Quality Control

The Material Testing and Quality Control discipline of Geo-technical Research Directorate deals with the determination of physical and engineering properties of concrete and concrete materials normally used for different types of river training works, hydraulic structures and other infrastructures. It also involves ‘Laboratory Trial Mix’ and computation of concrete mix design to attend particular design strength with materials to be used in the construction works. At present this discipline has two types of working facilities viz. laboratory oriented testing & research facilities and the other is monitoring & evaluation of construction works by conducting field tests and investigations for quality control of concrete in the ongoing projects.


Laboratory Activities (Main Laboratory and Field Laboratory at Bogra & Barisal)

The samples/specimens of cement, sand, shingles/stone chips, bricks, concrete cylinders, concrete cubes, MS Rod are received from the different ongoing projects under the different divisions of BWDB and other Govt. and non Govt. organizations for conducting tests as specified by the Clients. The following tests are conducted in this laboratory according to ASTM specifications.


  • Cement Test
    • Normal consistency
    • Setting time
    • Compressive strength
  • Sand Test
    • Fineness modulus test
    • Salinity test
    • Soundness test
    • Absorption (SSD basis) test
    • Unit weight
    • Specific gravity
    • Organic impurity test
  • Coarse Aggregate Test
    • Mechanical analysis
    • Soundness (chemical) test
    • Los Angeles abrasion test
    • Absorption (SSD basis) test
    • Unit weight
    • Specific gravity
    • Organic impurity test
  • Concrete Test
    • Compressive strength of concrete cylinder (6"x12")
    • Compressive strength of concrete cube (6"x6" )
    • Design and computation of concrete trial mixes.
    • Determination of desired strength of concrete by laboratory trial mixes. 
  • Brick Test
    • Absorption (SSD basis) test
    • Unit weight
    • Specific gravity
    • Moisture content
    • Compressive strength
    • Soundness
  • Steel Test
    • Tension Test (Plain & deformed bar)
    • Bend Test
    • Stress-Strain Curves (Modulus of Elasticity).



Sediment, Chemical and Water Pollution

Sediment, Chemical and Water Pollution discipline of Geo-technical Research Directorate of River Research Institute deals with the detection of Sediment characteristics and Water Quality. There are two laboratories under this discipline, (a) Sediment Technology Laboratory and (b) Chemical and Water Pollution Laboratory. Testing and analysis of various kinds of sediment samples of different rivers of Bangladesh are being carried out in the sediment technology laboratory. The test results are used for planning and designing of hydraulic structures like barrages, drainage channels, irrigation canals, flashing sluices closures etc. Sediment testing results are also used in physical and mathematical model studies. In the chemical and water pollution laboratory, samples of surface and ground water are being analyzed for using water in different purpose.


Sediment Technology Laboratory

The sediment technology laboratory has the following testing facilities:

  • Determination of sediment concentration by evaporation and filtration method
  • Determination of sediment concentration with soluble salt correction
  • Determination of specific gravity
  • Grain size analysis by
    • Wet and dry sieving method
    • Hydrometer method
    • Pipette method
    • Sieve and pipette combined method
    • Sieve and hydrometer combined method
    • Determination of viscosity


Chemical and Water Pollution Laboratory

The following facilities exist in the chemical and water pollution laboratory for soil and water:

The sophisticated instrument (AAS & GC-MS)  used in this Lab for testing metals like Na, K, Ca, Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Mg, Si, Ba, Fe, Zn, Co, Bi, Cd, Pb, As, Pt, Ag, Al, Sb, Se, Hg, B, Sn, Be, etc. and volatile organic compounds, pesticides, insecticides etc. 


  • Determination of pH, EC-value, free carbon di-oxide, bi-carbonate, sulphate, chloride, nitrate, sodium chloride, total solid content, hardness, calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, Arsenic, alkali metal as sodium, total dissolved solid, dissolved oxygen.
  • Determination of salinity


Field Services

To help the quality control of earth works and concrete works  of different projects, RRI sends technicians on deputation to the field in response to the request from the project authority mainly of BWDB and different organizations of Bangladesh. During the deputation period, technicians are involved in conducting in-situ tests for the ongoing project.